More Than Meanwhile Spaces is an ongoing, collaborative project that explores long-term futures for artist-run initiatives and workspaces in the North East of England. Organised via a flexible working group, it has involved two Economic and Social Research Council funded projects run by a core group including Rebecca Huggan (The NewBridge Project), David Butler, Emma Coffield, Paul Richter (Newcastle University), Rebecca Prescott (the University of Northumbria) and Robin Beveridge (Newcastle Council).
To date, the project has involved over 80 artists, creative practitioners, local authorities, funders, academics and other interested parties.
The first part of the project consisted of three strategic conversations which focussed on Newcastle upon Tyne. These conversations brought people together in order to foster a shared understanding of the challenges facing artist-led initiatives in the city, and to explore and demonstrate the value of these spaces and the artists within them. These workshops looked to the future in order to identify common ground and key points for future action.
The second part of the project brought people together over six events which focussed on the whole of the North East of England. These events built on key findings from the first part of the research, and used London’s newly established ‘Creative Enterprise Zones’ as a stimulus for discussion – and action – to explore long-term futures for artist-led spaces in our region.